There is growing anger among local farmers in Bawku and its surroundings, following the indiscriminate smuggling of scarce subsidized Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) fertilizer under police escort to Burkina Faso. Dozens of long vehicles (Articular trucks) are on daily basis seen conveying subsidized fertilizer meant for the famous Planting for Food and Jobs to the francophone country under police escort, whilst local farmers (the people who are supposed to benefit ) are hard hit with severe scarcity of the commodity.
Pictures and videos in the possessing of this outlet saw numerous long vehicles exporting the commodity through the Kulungungu border exit to Burkina Faso on daily basis.
Interestingly, the smuggled goods have police escort to the surprise and dismay of locals. This paper is told thatthe Upper East Region have been hard hit with shortage of the subsidized fertilizer for the past three weeks, but the commodity are wantonly been smuggled outside the country under police protection.
On one occasion, disgruntled farmers in Bawku are said to have attempted attacking the convoy at the Missiga check point. Some displeased famers in Bawku told this paper that they are dazedand disappointedat the activities of the police. "It is very serious my brother. For the past three weeks, we have not gotten the subsidized fertilizer in town and yet dozens are been carried out before our very eyes". "We are in serious need of fertilizer. This bad practice must stop". They added.
BAWKU POLICE COMMANDER LEADS ESCORT.
Having intercepted information from our informants over the illegal activity, the Herald placed a telephone call to the Upper East Regional deputy police commander who then instructed the Bawku divisional police commander, Alex Dzabaku Amenyah, to intercept the smuggled fertilizer.
Hours later, Mr Amenyah in a telephone interview told The Herald "I was informed that these vehicles are going here and these vehicles are going here. So I instructed the Garu people to come and escort them. Am here with the district director of Agric for Pusiga. It is PFJ fertilizer and the documents are with me. The security defense intelligence is also here. The district director of Agric said is it a genuine document. Tomorrow morning, I will make sure that I escort them to deposit it into the warehouse. So am making a photocopy of the documents, it has been signed by Mr Francis Enoch and then Mr Iddi Musah, assistant director for the honorable minister". Interestingly, the Herald is reliably informed that few minutes after the interview, Mr. Amenyah and his team escorted the smuggled goods to Burkina Faso. He failed to inform the Herald who assigned him and his men to escort the smuggled fertilizer. Our sources at the Border town of Kulungugu, hinted that powerful men are behind the illegal deal said to be lucrative.
The phenomenon is said to becoming a periodic canker with local distributors, powerful politicians and business tycoons always at the center of the menace.
AGRIC MINISTER BARES TEETH AT POLICE.
The minister for Food and Agriculture whose ministry supervises the distribution of the subsidized PFJ fertilizer expressed his outraged over the matter.
The Minister, Afriye Akoto told Haruna Sumaila Abugri in a telephone interview that "I want to lunch a major investigations on the issue. I take this very very serious. I am the only one who signs these documents. Those they have are forged documents. I don't know any Francis or Musah or anybody like that. These are forged documents. I need to talk to the police commander over there. They must stop them". He fumed.
Mr Akoto upon the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, has been very passionate to seeing the success of the policy. The minister who has been on the forefront of the policy, could not understand why the police failed to stop the illegal activity.
At the time of going to press, numerous telephone calls placed to MTN number of the Upper East Regional Minister, who is also the leader of the regional Security Council, Stephen Yakubu went unanswered.